So far, 2016 has been a good year for authors on the SCBWI Discussion Boards (Blue Board), and today is launch day for two more! It is such fun to see manuscripts written and illustrated by people I know and “talk” to regularly come to life as real, on-the-shelf-books. If you write, or want to write, for children or young adults, I urge you to join the Blue Board. If you are a member of SCBWI and are not using the boards, you are throwing away a free education! (Plus, you’re missing out on getting to know some really great writers and illustrators!)
HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!
First up is a sparkling new YA from debut author (and SCBWI Discussion Boards moderator) Katie Kennedy. I had a chance to read Katie’s book as an ARC, and it was so much fun! The American Booksellers Association agrees with me; they chose this novel for their Indies Introduce list, and it has already received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, one of the nation’s leading children’s book review journals for school and public librarians.
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
From the publisher: An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Maybe not kill-all-the-dinosaurs bad, but at least kill-everyone-in-California-and-wipe-out-Japan-with-a-tsunami bad. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been recruited to aid NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster.
The good news is Yuri knows how to stop the asteroid—his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize if there’s ever another Nobel prize awarded. But the trouble is, even though NASA asked for his help, no one there will listen to him. He’s seventeen, and they’ve been studying physics longer than he’s been alive.
Then he meets (pretty, wild, unpredictable) Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he’s not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and live a life worth saving.
Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and have your mind burst open with the questions of the universe.
Buy the book! BLUE WILLOW BOOKSHOP INDIEBOUND BARNES & NOBLE AMAZON
Follow Katie on twitter! @
Next up is a nonfiction picture book from another SCBWI Discussion Boards author, Jody Jensen Shaffer. Jody has a Goodreads giveaway for this book starting tomorrow! She also has two more picture books releasing in the next two years. PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW will be published by Holt Children’s in 2017, and A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK in 2018 from Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin.
THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLED
Illustrated by Kelly Kennedy
Published by Simon & Schuster
From the publisher: C is for cookie in this fact-tastic nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read that explores the history of cookies, part of a series about the history of fun stuff!
Did you know that Queen Elizabeth I used to have gingerbread cookies molded into the shapes of her favorite advisors? Or that Girl Scouts used to bake the cookies they sold themselves? Or that if you stacked all the Oreos ever made, they would reach to the moon and back five times? Become a History of Fun Stuff Expert on the super-sweet history of cookies and amaze your friends with all you’ve learned in this fun, fact-filled Level 3 Ready-to-Read!
A special section at the back of the book includes Common Core–vetted extras on subjects like science, social studies, and math, and there’s even a fun quiz so readers can test themselves to see what they’ve learned! Learning history has never been so much fun!
Buy the book! BLUE WILLOW BOOKSHOP INDIEBOUND BARNES & NOBLE AMAZON
Follow Jody on twitter! @
LOCAL KIDLIT AUTHOR EVENTS
JULY 5, TUESDAY, 7:00 PM: SCBWI HOUSTON: MTG & WORKSHOP
Local author Anna Silver will sign and discuss her young adult novel, SONGBYRD. Living on the road with her mother, all she’s ever really wanted is a normal, stable life in one place. Innocence is plagued by nightmares of a terrible event in her past, and the ever-growing fear that whatever she and her mother have been running from will finally catch up. In Stonetop, a small town in the Texas Hill Country, she meets Jace, a charming and sensitive guy but he’s not the only one drawn to her. Suffering from PTSD symptoms, Innocence becomes increasingly aware of her family’s mysterious and sometimes frightening powers. As her own powers begin to surface, Innocence has to decide who to trust. Unable to elude their haunted past, three generations of Byrd women must not only unite, but embrace their heritage as a gift and their key to a future of love and understanding.
JULY 9, 2:00-4:00 PM: WRITESPACE WORKSHOP
Workshop: Jumpstart Your Writing with Andreana Binder
COST: $25 Members, $35 Non-Members
Feeling stuck? Have you not written in a while? Does the work you have accomplished seem stagnant? Join your fellow writers in a friendly, open atmosphere in which creative freedom is celebrated. Using writing prompts, visual inspiration in the form of images and props, and fun freewriting exercises, we will free up your creativity so that you can get back on track and feel inspired again.
JULY 9, SATURDAY, 11:00 AM-2:00 PM: MELANIE CHRISMER, CHILDREN’S AUTHOR
Picture book and children’s nonfiction author Melanie Chrismer will be presenting LONE STAR LEGACY: THE TEXAS RANGERS THEN AND NOW. This nonfiction middle grade book takes readers through the two hundred-year-history of the Texas Rangers and the changes that took place in the state from the organization’s inception to its current incarnation. Issues covered include the creation of the Rangers as a response to territorial conflict, their role under the Republic, their defense against Mexican invaders, and their evolution during the twentieth century.
JULY 12 TUESDAY, ,6:30-8:30 PM: HWG SUMMER SERIES
Trini Mendenhall, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston
Workshop: Plotting Thrillers and Action/Adventure—Story Arc and Comic Relief with Tony Burnett
COST: $10 per session to Houston Writers Guild members/$30 per session to nonmembers; Or $50 members for all 6 sessions/$150 nonmembers for all 6 sessions
Tony Burnett, current president of the Writers League of Texas, will discuss:
Plot development–how complex should your story be
Pacing–tension and tension release
Unique characteristics of thrillers versus action adventure versus mystery
Finding your voice–reading to write
Standalone versus series versus serial–what works for your story
Character traits and quirks–making the believable interesting and the unbelievable believable
Finding an audience and/or specific genre
Having fun with writing
Please note that some of these updates are for 2017 writing events. For more information, go to the main conference pages. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly posts, please use the form on the left sidebar to Subscribe to Updates.
AUGUST 15-18: OREGON CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE, KEIZER, OR
AGENT: Sally Apokedak/Stobbe Literary
AUGUST 20: THE TORONTO WRITING WORKSHOP https://torontowritingworkshop.com/ , TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
AGENTS: Ali McDonald & Olga Filina/The Rights Factory; Stacey Donaghy & Sue Miller/Donaghy Literary; Monica Pacheco/The McDermid Agency; Moe Ferrara/Bookends Literary; Rachel Letofsky/Cooke Agency
OCTOBER 14-16: JAMES RIVER WRITERS CONFERENCE, RICHMOND, VA
AGENTS: Linda Camacho/Prospect Agency; Gemma Cooper/The Bent Agency; Moe Ferrara/Bookends Literary